A friend was flying to do some construction work and wanted to take lithium batteries for his power tools. Unsure of the TSA regulations, he researched the website, spent an hour on hold to talk directly with a TSA representative, printed out the rules and size limits and was as prepared as he could be to get through airport security with five batteries and a charger.

That part of his luggage screened without issue. What tripped him up? A coconut!

In addition to the batteries, he was taking home a coconut mailed from World War II. Coconuts have husks and what is commonly known as a coconut is actually inside. TSA doesn’t like things that show up on their scanner “inside” something. The batteries went through once. The coconut four times (before it was allowed to fly.)

Think about other things in life that are like this – where we overprepare for what we expect to cause an issue and instead find difficulty with something that we never gave a second thought. We check the car’s tires before going on vacation but fail to fill the windshield washer fluid. We purchase hundreds of dollars of back-to-school supplies and forget the sandwich bags. We spend hours on a PowerPoint presentation and leave the clicker back in the office.

Yes, it’s wise to do your homework and prepare for the big things – but it’s often the little details that make you go (coco)nuts. Mind them as well.

Thanks, Curt!

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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